What we do
Policy and information sharing
Things you need to know
Things you need to know about running a voluntary or community organisation or group
Governance is the term used to describe your Board’s role. The Board is legally responsible for overseeing your organisation’s work.
- The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) has produced a “Good Trustee Guide”. It costs £30, but is an excellent resource for charities and their Boards.
- The Charity Commission has some very clear guidance on governance including the guide: The essential trustee: what you need to know, what you need to do.
Before you take the plunge, make sure you think carefully about which (if any) legal structure will best suit your organisation’s needs and aspirations both now, and in the future. Your chosen legal structure should follow your strategy, not the other way around. Changing the structure may be an option in the future but it can be costly and time consuming.
Legal forms can be either incorporated or unincorporated:
- Incorporation means creating a legal identity for an organisation that is separate from its members. An incorporated form exists in its own right and can enter into contracts and own property in its own name and employ people.
- An unincorporated organisation has no separate legal identity of its own. That means that individuals enter into obligations, such as contracts, on behalf of their organisation and they are responsible for its debts and other liabilities.
For more detailed help, visit GetLegal – a website providing legal documents and other support for charities and social enterprises. The decision tool for new organisations section outlines the legal journey and has a handy decision tool to help you decide the best legal form.
Measuring your impact
It is becoming increasingly important to measure the impact of your work. It is a requirement of many funders, but it is also important that you are clear about the difference you make so that more people will support your cause.
Before you can measure impact you need to think about what success will look like. How do you know when you’ve done a good job?
As John Hayes said,
We tend to overvalue the things we can measure and undervalue the things we cannot.”
So make sure you are measuring what is meaningful, rather than just what is measurable.
The Inspiring Impact website provides free online resources, peer learning networks, and grant funding, so you can plan, understand, and improve your impact.
Policies and procedures
Okay, we admit it, policies and procedures are boring. But they are necessary to ensure your organisation is well run. How many policies, and how detailed they should be, will depend on the size and scope of your organisation.
Policies are clear, simple statements of how your organisation intends to conduct its services, actions or business. They provide a set of guiding principles to help with decision making.
Procedures describe how each policy will be put into action in your organisation, and should outline who will do what, what steps they need to take and which forms or documents to use.
Please contact us if you would like more detailed information and guidance.
Here are some useful links for seeking volunteers: